Genres


24-hour zines
Art zines
Compilation zines
DIY zines
Fanzines
Literary zines
Mamazines
Metazines
Minicomics
One-page-folding zines
Personal zines
Political zines
Program zines
School zines
Split zines

 

24-hour Zines
A 24 Hour Zine is exactly like it sounds, but harder. All the work has to be done in a single day, and it's not uncommon for these kinds of zines to come from dares, either from others or the writers themselves.
Examples:
Brainscan no. 25.5 : A 24 Hour Zine Challenge Zine, Alex Wrekk


This minizine by Alex Wrekk was part of a 24-hour zine challenge. It tells the story of Alex's post office boxes and pen pals from the start of her zine-making career and includes handwriting and clip art images.

 

 

 

Art Zines
Art zines are art in and of themselves, of course, but are also filled with art, photos, collages of the author's own work.
Examples:
Chinese Sweatshop, Elsie Sampson


Elsie's zines are bursting with art, handwritten comments, attached objects, recipes and all of the other accoutrements of exuberant creativity. She generally writes about her life as a resident alien Chinese living in White Plains, NY. She makes arts, goes to school, and attends zine and craft events. This has nothing to do with sweatshops.

 

Mirror Tricks, Robin Hustle


In contrast to Chinese Sweatshop's jumbling richness, Mirror Tricks is spare and subtle. It's a visual and written account of the author's experience as a prostitute.

 

 

Compilation Zines
For a compilation zine, a topic is chosen and a call for submissions is released, ideally with a deadline. After all the submissions are in, the zine is cobbled together, tying up a single topic from multiple perspectives.
Examples:
Ladyfriend: for Ladies and All Their Friends, Christa Donner


Each issue has a different theme, e.g. hair, age, shoes, or food. It tackles some serious and some less serious topics in a playful, yet respectful manner. There have been articles about riot grrrl, Internet dating, women's self-defense, eating disorders, and other topics, and there are usually zine and music reviews, as well. It's muy third wave!

 

Hard as Nails: the Tough Girl Compilation Zine, Lauren Jade Martin

Lauren interviews and celebrates her strong female friends, many if not all of whom are women of color, and asks them about their own heroines. It's done in a respectful, yet playful and fun manner, with hand drawn self-portraits, and other art elements.

 

DIY Zines
These kinds of zines will teach (and inspire!) you to do it yourself.
Examples:
Dropping Out (for Students), Cavegirl


DIY instruction units in this radical zine include shoplifting, dumpster diving, squatting, and other freegan survival techniques. It tells one woman's story of rejecting high school and many societal norms. Even if you're not ready to leave town with $60 and a sleeping bag, you may wish you were after reading about Cavegirl's adventures and beliefs.

 

SEEJ Operating Manual, SEEJ members


This cut and paste zine by Barnard and Columbia members of Students for Environmental and Economic Justice is a great primer on collective processes and dynamics and recognizing one thing that keeps a movement going, throws in some vegan recipes, too. The physical object conveys the students' generosity, creativity, sense of humor, and commitment to political change. They're cute, but very serious.

 

 

Fanzines
Haven't you ever loved something so much none of your friends would listen to you talk about it anymore, so you had to write it down in your journal, but then you said to yourself, "If I don't tell the world about this RIGHT NOW, they'll NEVER KNOW!...but if they already know, then I want to meet THOSE people because my friends aren't even listening to me right now?" Fanzine in a nutshell.
Examples:
All Slay #3: The Sex Issue, Katy Stevens


This is a scholarly zine about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Do you really need to know more? Unfortunately, it's out of print, and other issues have been impossible to get. Therefore we'll have to content ourselves with just the sex issue, which looks at the Angel series, as well as Buffy. They investigate gender issues, queerness, feminism, sex and violence, and there's also the obligatory slash fiction.

 

Judy!, Andrea Lawlor-Mariano


Judy is a Judith Butler fanzine from 1992. The existence of a Judith Butler fanzine alone is enough to crack up anyone involved in women's studies and zines. Dr. Butler's response to the zine, made by a college undergrad, is documented in the zine and in Lingua Franca. There are also quizzes, letters, photos and paper dolls.

 

 

Literary Zines
Literary zines are collections of fiction, essays, poetry that are self published and distributed like zines.
Examples:
Beautiful People, Heather Lynn


Many people in zinedom don't care much for literary zines. They will need to make an exception for this 21 year-old punk rocker who tricks you into reading her short stories by interspersing them with goofy letters to celebrities. The fiction is startlingly good.

 

I Hear You Like Stories, Meg Favreau


Same goes for Meg's stories, and with hers you have to try to guess which are true and which are not. Visually the zine has an 1890s aesthetic, but the fiction is plenty topical. A crafty girl, Meg makes her zine very pretty and tidy, as well.

 

 

MamaZines
Mamazines have all the info about carrying, birthing, and raising children, but without all the ads and misery of the mainstream press mags.
Examples:
East Village Inky, Ayun Halliday


Ayun's zine is about raising her kids in Brooklyn, NY, and trying to do so in an ethical and artistic manner. Issues normally include recipes, advice from the father (written by her spouse, Broadway show author Greg Kotis), comix, photobooth photos, recommended NYC spots and events, and articles on local and national politics, international travel, and the trials and joys of parenting.

 

The Future Generation, China Martens


Having started her zine in 1990, China is one of the pioneers of the genre, especially when it comes to mamazines. She was a young anarchist punk rock mother who didn't feel that the mamas in her community had enough support, so she began delivering articles on radical parenting to her compañeras in an age before the Internet made that easy. This zine really makes you think about how you should deal with children and respect them. China is still making zines, as is her 18 year old daughter, Nadja (also known as Clover).

 

 

Mini Comics
Minicomics are creator made comics, that do not necessarily have to be fun-sized.
Examples:
I Like Girls, Erika Moen


This is a coming out zine/comix by a queer college student. The drawings are simple and direct, but also quirky and creative.

 

 

Personal Zines
Do not confuse a perzine with a diary! Many are longterm, ongoing projects, some are one off issues, all of them are focused on the author's life, opinions, and thoughts, in some capacity. Personal zines can focus on the day-to-day inanities, a single life altering crisis, and everything that falls between.
Glossolalia, Sarah Contrary


In some ways Sarah is the stereotypical zine publisher--she is in her 20s, rides a bike, lives in Portland, and attends the occasional punk show. Her zine features many of the typical elements--lists, travel stories, drawings, contributions from friends, and recommendations. Still, she manages to make each story and graphic smarter and funnier than those seen in many other zines. Her story of her bike trip down the west coast is inspiring, and her skewering illustration of her fellow PDX bicyclists is hilarious.

 

I Dreamed I Was Assertive, Celia C. Perez


Librarians are one of the largest professional demographics in zine publishing, probably trailing only students, the semi-employed, and baristas. Celia is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful bibliozinester. Her zines chronicle her experiences on public transportation in Florida and Illinois, her marriage and recently, having a child, and work in various libraries. With her working class Latina background, Celia also addresses issues of race and class.

 

Baby Girl, Lindsey Morrison


This is a touching and very personal zine about a young woman dealing with her mother's terminal illness, while at the same time trying to live her own life and deal with her relationships with her other family members and her partner.

 

Fuck You, High School, Lauren Jade Martin


Zines have historically been a particularly powerful meduim for young people including junior and senior high school students. Lauren collected contributions from her readers (virtually all of whom she met through her participation in zine culture) about the joys and horrors of the high school years. This is a special issue of her first zine series, Boredom Sucks.

 

I Was a Teenage Mormon, Caitlin


It's just what it sounds like--a big, fat zine about a young woman coming of age among the Mormons of Utah and her eventual escape.

 

 

Political Zines
Political zines deal with politics, anarchy, social justice, historical movements, and present day problems.
Examples:
Evolution of a Race Riot, Mimi Nguyen


This empowering zine takes on racism in punk rock, anarchism, feminism, and zine publishing. The second issue contains a valuable race riot project guide, as well.

 

Figure 8, Krissy Durden


Durden, a proponent of the fat acceptance movement and founder of FATASS (the Fat Action Allstar Spirit Squad) writes about health, politics, and emotional issues facing women of size.

 

 

Split Zines
Split zines come about when two (or more!) zinesters want to combine forces and photocopying skills and make a zine, together, either by splitting down the middle or collaborating on one Very Special Issue.
Examples:
Cheshire #4 ( Jackie Sarratt) and Velvet Grass #18 (Rebecca Dillon)


Cheshire #4 features an interview with Megan Kelso, cartoonist of GirlHero, as well as includes tons of drawings and poems. The other half is split withVelvet Grass #18, which chronicles college student and single mother Dillon's life living with her boyfriend (not the father of her child) through her own comics.